Rail line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth closes because there aren’t enough trains
- Credit: Archant
All services on the railway line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth have stopped for four days with buses replacing trains, prompting one MP to brand the move a 'disgrace'.
The change is due to line-operator Abellio Greater Anglia not having enough trains because so many have been sent for repairs.
It is the first time services have been suspended on the line because of a lack of trains and it means all trains will be replaced by buses from today (Thursday) until Sunday, resulting in additional travelling times of about 40 minutes.
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: 'I find it absolutely disgraceful that Abellio can just stop this vital service for residents of Great Yarmouth and cite difficulties in providing enough trains.
'This would not be acceptable at any time of year, but to do this now, when mornings and evenings are dark and people want to be out and about at weekends doing Christmas shopping, is particularly galling.
'Whilst I understand that repairs and improvements are needed, it is the responsibility of Abellio to ensure that stock is available to ensure continued service and I have written to the Managing Director of Abellio Greater Anglia, stating that this is simply unacceptable and seeking reassurances that this will not happen again.'
Passengers travelling from Great Yarmouth to Reedham and Cantley should note that the replacement bus services will not stop at those two stations.
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Taxis are available instead from Great Yarmouth.
Abellio Greater Anglia tickets will be accepted on bus route X1 from Norwich Bus Station. The service calls at Acle and Great Yarmouth only.
A spokesperson for Greater Anglia said: 'We apologise for the ongoing impact of train service cancellations affecting our local routes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, and for the inconvenience this is continuing to cause our customers.
'The problems are due to some of our diesel trains suffering wheel damage, as a result of poor rail conditions. This situation leads to excessive wear on the wheels which must be repaired before the trains can re-enter service.
'On average we are continuing to see two trains arrive back at the end of each day with wheel damage, more than double the rate we have experienced in previous autumn periods.'
They added: 'While services have been suspended in the past, it has not been for this reason. The underlying cause is the rail head conditions, which have been extremely poor for the past two weeks and we're doing all we can to minimise the impact.'
The location of the designated bus stop at your station can be found by visiting: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/default.aspx